Monday, June 23, 2008

Providing comfort

I'm sure all of you know about the Prayer Shawl ministry that has been spreading across religions and the US. People in our church come from many different faith and non-faith backgrounds. Therefore, in our liberal church we recently began a "Comfort" Shawl ministry.

There is something very appealing in knitting a shawl that will wrap someone in comfort, care and warmth. At a time in his/her life when spirits might be low, physical strength might be waning and need for caring is high. I felt very good when I made this shawl, but sad knowing that it will be given to someone in the time of need, illness or great stress.

I stepped in to the Comfort Shawl ministry with great enthusiasm. I know that many comfort/prayer shawls are made of acrylic for ease in laundering. Because I believe that wool from an animal's back is more healing than spun petroleum, I decided to use a machine washable sport weight yarn from Lorna's Laces. The colorway may not be available; I purchased it as a "mill end" from the dying location in Chicago.

I wanted a shawl that would stay on someone's shoulders, so I used the Litla Dimun pattern from Folk Shawls--a Faroese style. by the way, I am very enthusiastic about the Folk Shawls book. I return to it often, to dream and plan and knit.

So, here's the finished shawl, blocking.
The symbol of our church is the "flaming chalice." I thought that the design up the middle panel of the back looked like chalices. Therefore, I added a lace-type flame from one of Barbara Walker's books. It is very hard to see the flame, but the recipient will know that it is there.
Here is the shawl with the patterning from the book.
And here you can see the entire middle back patterning, including the chalice.

I feel good about doing this, even though I don't know who will be the recipient. I hope it will be received in the spirit of sharing and caring.
The shawl was my big project. These Sockotta short socks were my "ziplock bag knitting." I keep a small project in my purse for knitting at stop signs, restaurants, in dark movie theaters and the like. My daughters have convinced me that wearing socks with sandals in the summer is just too out of style to be tolerated! So, I've been making short socks to wear with sandals. I don't know about you, but for some reason my feet are always cold, even in the summer. I think these socks are perfectly stylish, no matter what the muggles think!!


HPNY Knits said...

great match between yarn and pattern for this gorgeous shawl!

kate said...

love the idea of comfort shawls, think I will have to look into making some for this area.

We're on the same wavelength - I'm making some ankle socks for these cute little shoes I got for summer that I don't want to wear with just bare feet.

Anonymous said...

IF you are still in Halifax --- er, Dartmouth, check out the LYS.
The only one I can think of right now is at the Hydrostone in Halifax. Ask how to get to the Hydrostone and even muggles will be able to direct you.

I don't know if the yarn store in Mineville was affected by the recent forest fire. (Mineville is near Dartmouth.)
Mahone Bay has a great yarn store too but that is over an hour away from Halifax.

Gaspereau Fibres is a GREAT yarn store - and spinning and weaving too. About an hour away from the city. It is in the Annapolis Valley - which you MUST see.
I live in Wolfville so it's my LYS. Check out their website.

Happy visiting in Nova Scotia,

Heather said...

A beautiful shawl, for certain. I can clearly see the chalice, and I also see people holding other people up, which is a lovely image as well.